Labour accuse Boris of double whammy’ over 20pc fare rises

LABOUR-run local authorities have condemned Boris Johnson’s bus and tube fare increases and the cuts to services as a double whammy’. The attack was made at London Councils’ transport committee the day Boris announced the rises

By Mike Brooke

LABOUR-run local authorities have condemned Boris Johnson's bus and tube fare increases and the cuts to services as a 'double whammy'.

The attack was made in comments to the Mayor's transport advisor Kulveer Ranger at a meeting of London Councils' transport committee the day Boris announced the fare rises.

Transport vice chair Alan Laing, of Hackney Council in East London, called on Mr Ranger to refute claims that Underground services in the suburbs and buses would be reduced. Mr Ranger refused to rule out cuts to services in the future.

Cllr Laing told the meeting: "These fare increases are truly shocking in this time of recession and a devastating blow for Londoners who rely on public transport every day."

He accused the Mayor of 'favouring the rich' over road toll charges. He added: "Axing the Congestion Zone western extension while raising fares by 20 per cent shows Boris Johnson prefers London's wealthiest car owners to the majority who rely on buses."

Public transport, he insisted, was "already at breaking point.